Berkeley/UCLA/Columbia for California Job Market

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badlefthook

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Berkeley/UCLA/Columbia for California Job Market

Postby badlefthook » Thu Feb 09, 2017 12:49 pm

Is there any significant difference between these schools for job placement in southern California? Hoping to start in big law and transition to government work (i.e. US Attorney's Office). I'm not looking to compare the schools in any way except for ability to find work in socal. Thanks in advance.

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Re: Berkeley/UCLA/Columbia for California Job Market

Postby WhiteCollarBlueShirt » Thu Feb 09, 2017 1:21 pm

For what it's worth - grew up in CA, went to CLS, struck out on the west coast... have had unlimited lateral opportunities since.

I'd consider 1) cost of attendance; 2) how badly you want biglaw generally vs. SoCal anything.

I'd imagine Berkeley would fare best for CA biglaw (even SoCal), but I would point out that CLS will be the most likely to get you biglaw generally and, due to the summer class sizes, lateraling to CA can be easier than starting there as a summer.

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Re: Berkeley/UCLA/Columbia for California Job Market

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Feb 09, 2017 2:31 pm

Seems like Berkeley would be the safest choice for one targeting California.

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Re: Berkeley/UCLA/Columbia for California Job Market

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Feb 09, 2017 2:39 pm

badlefthook wrote:Hoping to start in big law and transition to government work (i.e. US Attorney's Office). I'm not looking to compare the schools in any way except for ability to find work in socal.


These two sentences are kind of contradictory.

Berkeley will make it easier to get biglaw anywhere in the state. UCLA will probably make it easier to get work in SoCal. But those are two radically different calculations.

If your goal is biglaw to USAO, then Berkeley or Columbia are your best bets.

badlefthook

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Re: Berkeley/UCLA/Columbia for California Job Market

Postby badlefthook » Thu Feb 09, 2017 3:55 pm

WhiteCollarBlueShirt wrote:For what it's worth - grew up in CA, went to CLS, struck out on the west coast... have had unlimited lateral opportunities since.

I'd consider 1) cost of attendance; 2) how badly you want biglaw generally vs. SoCal anything.

I'd imagine Berkeley would fare best for CA biglaw (even SoCal), but I would point out that CLS will be the most likely to get you biglaw generally and, due to the summer class sizes, lateraling to CA can be easier than starting there as a summer.


Thank you, this is very helpful.

Cost of attendance will be significantly lower at Berkeley/UCLA since I am a CA resident. Haven't heard from Berkeley yet regarding scholarships. UCLA dean told me I am under consideration for merit scholarship in March, plus I would be able to live at home reducing costs further. I didn't get any scholarship offer from Columbia upon admission so I guess I'm getting nothing from them. Will most likely not qualify for need-based financial aid at any of the 3.

Working in So Cal is my priority.

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Re: Berkeley/UCLA/Columbia for California Job Market

Postby WhiteCollarBlueShirt » Thu Feb 09, 2017 4:12 pm

badlefthook wrote: Thank you, this is very helpful.

Cost of attendance will be significantly lower at Berkeley/UCLA since I am a CA resident. Haven't heard from Berkeley yet regarding scholarships. UCLA dean told me I am under consideration for merit scholarship in March, plus I would be able to live at home reducing costs further. I didn't get any scholarship offer from Columbia upon admission so I guess I'm getting nothing from them. Will most likely not qualify for need-based financial aid at any of the 3.

Working in So Cal is my priority.


In that case, I would guess Berkeley is the safe bet for employment at the high-end of the legal field in CA, but if you kill it at UCLA, then that would be the ideal situation for biglaw in SoCal... all risk tolerance & risk/reward etc.

Personally, I don't recommend law school and your best bet for satisfying employment in SoCal is to find a job that you want to do in SoCal... unlike many on TLS, I recognize that I am saying that from a position of privilege and opportunity (midlevel associate), so just a friendly warning before you take on some real debt

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Re: Berkeley/UCLA/Columbia for California Job Market

Postby jbagelboy » Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:38 pm

I would go to Berkeley for NorCal, Columbia for SoCal, costs equal. If you would be borrowing significantly more money to go to Columbia than Berkeley, then go to Berkeley. Something like a full ride at UCLA versus sticker at CLS is a tougher call and depends on how you weigh opportunities and lifestyle preferences.

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Re: Berkeley/UCLA/Columbia for California Job Market

Postby badlefthook » Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:27 am

jbagelboy wrote:I would go to Berkeley for NorCal, Columbia for SoCal, costs equal. If you would be borrowing significantly more money to go to Columbia than Berkeley, then go to Berkeley. Something like a full ride at UCLA versus sticker at CLS is a tougher call and depends on how you weigh opportunities and lifestyle preferences.


Thank you sir this is helpful. If you have a sec, would you mind elaborating a bit on why you recommend Columbia over Berkeley for SoCal?

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Re: Berkeley/UCLA/Columbia for California Job Market

Postby catalina559 » Sun Feb 12, 2017 4:58 pm

Checking in because I'm in the exact same boat! I would really love to attend Berkeley/UCLA because they're closer to home and I think the student environment would be a better fit, but I'm not sure if it's done to turn down Columbia, or possibly even Harvard. Would be interested to hear your thoughts!
Last edited by catalina559 on Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Berkeley/UCLA/Columbia for California Job Market

Postby eck456 » Sun Feb 12, 2017 5:04 pm

catalina559 wrote:Checking in because I'm in the exact same boat! I would really love to attend Berkeley/UCLA because they're closer to home and I think the student environment would be a better fit, but I'm not sure if it's done to turn down Columbia, or possibly even Harvard. Would be interested to hear your thoughts!

I'm still waiting to hear from Stanford, but if they turn me down, I'm not sure what to do! I am also from SoCal, working in NY right now, and am hoping to return to at least somewhere in CA after law school.


I definitely know of Cali people who turn down Columbia for Berkeley, but I would say its more common for public interest than biglaw

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Re: Berkeley/UCLA/Columbia for California Job Market

Postby catalina559 » Mon Feb 13, 2017 5:22 pm

eck456 wrote:
catalina559 wrote:Checking in because I'm in the exact same boat! I would really love to attend Berkeley/UCLA because they're closer to home and I think the student environment would be a better fit, but I'm not sure if it's done to turn down Columbia, or possibly even Harvard. Would be interested to hear your thoughts!


I definitely know of Cali people who turn down Columbia for Berkeley, but I would say its more common for public interest than biglaw


Thanks for the input! What about turning down Harvard to go to Berkeley?

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Re: Berkeley/UCLA/Columbia for California Job Market

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:34 pm

catalina559 wrote:
eck456 wrote:
catalina559 wrote:Checking in because I'm in the exact same boat! I would really love to attend Berkeley/UCLA because they're closer to home and I think the student environment would be a better fit, but I'm not sure if it's done to turn down Columbia, or possibly even Harvard. Would be interested to hear your thoughts!


I definitely know of Cali people who turn down Columbia for Berkeley, but I would say its more common for public interest than biglaw


Thanks for the input! What about turning down Harvard to go to Berkeley?


I know of this too.

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Re: Berkeley/UCLA/Columbia for California Job Market

Postby armc808 » Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:45 pm

catalina559 wrote:
eck456 wrote:
catalina559 wrote:Checking in because I'm in the exact same boat! I would really love to attend Berkeley/UCLA because they're closer to home and I think the student environment would be a better fit, but I'm not sure if it's done to turn down Columbia, or possibly even Harvard. Would be interested to hear your thoughts!


I definitely know of Cali people who turn down Columbia for Berkeley, but I would say its more common for public interest than biglaw


Thanks for the input! What about turning down Harvard to go to Berkeley?

I have definitely heard of a few people who turned down Harvard for Berkeley, and their reasoning was because they felt more comfortable in Berkeley's environment and wanted to be in CA after law school.

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Re: Berkeley/UCLA/Columbia for California Job Market

Postby whysoseriousbiglaw » Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:03 am

You'd have to be crazy to go to law school at sticker price, unless you come from a rich family. So out of these options, Columbia would be my last choice.

I think COA is the deciding factor here. How much would these cost?

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Re: Berkeley/UCLA/Columbia for California Job Market

Postby fra » Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:45 pm

For those deciding based off of cost of attendance -
Berkeley will give you in-state tuition after you have lived in CA for a year. So you can get in-state tuition your 2L and 3L years if you work in CA for your 1L summer and do some things indicating that you intend to stay in CA long-term (get a CA driver's license, register to vote in CA, etc. . . ).
I'm not sure if other schools do this.

Also - I turned down Harvard for Berkeley because I wanted bay area big law. I don't regret it.

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Re: Berkeley/UCLA/Columbia for California Job Market

Postby dabigchina » Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:54 pm

Having turned down an almost-full ride at UCLA for CLS, I would probably take the UCLA offer.

CLS is great if you want biglaw but you don't care where you work. If you absolutely want CA biglaw the value proposition falls off substantially. You need good grades to get CA biglaw from either UCLA or CLS. You might as well not spend a shitload of money doing it.

Ofc Cal is on the table. I would probably just go there.

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Re: Berkeley/UCLA/Columbia for California Job Market

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:06 pm

dabigchina wrote:Having turned down an almost-full ride at UCLA for CLS, I would probably take the UCLA offer.

CLS is great if you want biglaw but you don't care where you work. If you absolutely want CA biglaw the value proposition falls off substantially. You need good grades to get CA biglaw from either UCLA or CLS. You might as well not spend a shitload of money doing it.

Ofc Cal is on the table. I would probably just go there.


I would strongly dispute the idea or suggestion that you need the same type of grades from CLS as from UCLA to receive summer offers at CA firms. While the advantage to an east coast Ivy is obviously more pronounced in the NY and DC markets, you still need to do substantially better at UCLA to receive a callback at nearly any major California firm than you need to do at CLS for that same firm. Saying you need "good" grades at both schools is not enough (and, if you grew up in LA or OC and you go to CLS, you don't need as strong of grades as those who have no ties--I have friends with sub-3.3 after 1L that had multiple offers at good firms in LA. For SF, it's obviously more difficult, but UCLA doesn't punch very hard in northern California either).

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Re: Berkeley/UCLA/Columbia for California Job Market

Postby dabigchina » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:12 pm

jbagelboy wrote:I would strongly dispute the idea or suggestion that you need the same type of grades from CLS as from UCLA to receive summer offers at CA firms. While the advantage to an east coast Ivy is obviously more pronounced in the NY and DC markets, you still need to do substantially better at UCLA to receive a callback at nearly any major California firm than you need to do at CLS for that same firm. Saying you need "good" grades at both schools is not enough (and, if you grew up in LA or OC and you go to CLS, you don't need as strong of grades as those who have no ties--I have friends with sub-3.3 after 1L that had multiple offers at good firms in LA. For SF, it's obviously more difficult, but UCLA doesn't punch very hard in northern California either).

I only know 1 medianish friend who got CA biglaw. He only had 1 offer and was very close to striking out. I know 2 other guys who struck out. Anecdata isn't helpful though.

In any case, I think we can both agree that bidding heavily CA if you don't have Mid-Stone level grades is not advisable. Mid-stone is probably around top 20%. I think someone in the top 20% from UCLA can snag Socal biglaw.

In any case, this all depends on how comfortable OP would be with having to work in NY for a few years after law school.

ETA: I would dispute Socal being less competitive than Norcal. Looking at the data they provided us, it looks like the total number of offers is about the same between socal and norcal. Socal firms don't seem like they are less grade sensitive. If anything, they seem more grade sensitive. This is all moot anyway. Given OP has Boalt on the table, that is probably his best bet.
Last edited by dabigchina on Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Berkeley/UCLA/Columbia for California Job Market

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:15 pm

dabigchina wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:I would strongly dispute the idea or suggestion that you need the same type of grades from CLS as from UCLA to receive summer offers at CA firms. While the advantage to an east coast Ivy is obviously more pronounced in the NY and DC markets, you still need to do substantially better at UCLA to receive a callback at nearly any major California firm than you need to do at CLS for that same firm. Saying you need "good" grades at both schools is not enough (and, if you grew up in LA or OC and you go to CLS, you don't need as strong of grades as those who have no ties--I have friends with sub-3.3 after 1L that had multiple offers at good firms in LA. For SF, it's obviously more difficult, but UCLA doesn't punch very hard in northern California either).

I only know 1 medianish friend who got CA biglaw. He only had 1 offer and was very close to striking out. Anecdata isn't helpful though.

In any case, I think we can both agree that bidding heavily CA if you don't have Mid-Stone level grades is not advisable. Mid-stone is probably around top 20%. I think someone in the top 20% from UCLA can snag Socal biglaw.

In any case, this all depends on how comfortable OP would be with having to work in NY for a few years after law school.

ETA: I would dispute Socal being less competitive than Norcal. Looking at the data they provided us, it looks like the total number of offers is about the same between socal and norcal. Socal firms don't seem like they are less grade sensitive. If anything, they seem more grade sensitive.


I definitely do not agree with this statement.

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Re: Berkeley/UCLA/Columbia for California Job Market

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:17 pm

I think you can get LA firms from median at CLS. The only firms that are very picky for grades and that would look for someone with at least top 20% are Gibson Dunn, Irell (& Hueston Hennigan), Munger Tolles, and probably S&C. Latham is selective but not that selective.

The problem is that class sizes in LA are relatively small compared to New York, so firms are pickier in general; that does not necessarily mean they require certain grades. The data do not bear this out.

FYI: I've worked at multiple law firms in Southern California and I went to CLS.
Last edited by jbagelboy on Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Berkeley/UCLA/Columbia for California Job Market

Postby dabigchina » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:18 pm

jbagelboy wrote:This goes out generally to anyone at CLS who is "all in SF" or "all in DC": even if you have honors grades and even if you would NEVER step foot in new york after graduation, include several of the big-class new york firms. Look: when people say SF and DC are tough, that means even with high grades, even with some ties, who knows what could happen, and this is your best shot to get in the room with all the top firms in the country. Don't fuck it up out of some absolutist principle. Having a backup offer in new york isn't just risk averse, its strategic. These firms can also be your backdoor to another market. If you summer at Davis Polk, they'll let you go to Menlo Park for four weeks and most likely accept an offer there for after graduation if you prefer it. If you accept at S&C, they'll let you split with LA and go there after graduation. These scenarios aren't 100% but I've seen them all happen. You'll probably get an SF/SV offer, sure, but there's basically no downside--an hour or so of your life--to including some fancy new york firms, compared to the downside of the alternative.



Granted, this is about Norcal, but I think this is relevant.

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Re: Berkeley/UCLA/Columbia for California Job Market

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:20 pm

dabigchina wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:This goes out generally to anyone at CLS who is "all in SF" or "all in DC": even if you have honors grades and even if you would NEVER step foot in new york after graduation, include several of the big-class new york firms. Look: when people say SF and DC are tough, that means even with high grades, even with some ties, who knows what could happen, and this is your best shot to get in the room with all the top firms in the country. Don't fuck it up out of some absolutist principle. Having a backup offer in new york isn't just risk averse, its strategic. These firms can also be your backdoor to another market. If you summer at Davis Polk, they'll let you go to Menlo Park for four weeks and most likely accept an offer there for after graduation if you prefer it. If you accept at S&C, they'll let you split with LA and go there after graduation. These scenarios aren't 100% but I've seen them all happen. You'll probably get an SF/SV offer, sure, but there's basically no downside--an hour or so of your life--to including some fancy new york firms, compared to the downside of the alternative.



Granted, this is about Norcal, but I think this is relevant.


I stand by all of this. I don't think it means you can't get California firms with median grades. No CLS student should ever literally "all in" on a market that's not NY.

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Re: Berkeley/UCLA/Columbia for California Job Market

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:23 pm

I do not think LA and SF are equivalent. Putting aside GDC, most firms are more grade selective in their SF offices than their LA offices because they have smaller class sizes. And ties are probably even more important.

The advise I would give someone in constructing their CLS bid list will not be phrased the same way as comparing attending UCLA to attending CLS. I'm telling you that a SoCal law firm will look for higher grades from a UCLA student than a CLS student. I am not suggesting that it's good bidding strategy for CLS students to select all California firms without strong grades (or even with them).

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Re: Berkeley/UCLA/Columbia for California Job Market

Postby dabigchina » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:27 pm

jbagelboy wrote:I think you can get LA firms from median at CLS. The only firms that are very picky for grades and that would look for someone with at least top 20% are Gibson Dunn, Irell (& Hueston Hennigan), Munger Tolles, and probably S&C. Latham is selective but not that selective.


Latham LA has a 100% honors to offer ratio. I would call them selective. I would also include OMM, although I admit their grade threshold is lower than I thought. The problem is these are the biggest summer classes in LA. I think outside of these firms it's really only Sidley and Skadden that have sizeable summer programs?

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Re: Berkeley/UCLA/Columbia for California Job Market

Postby dabigchina » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:32 pm

jbagelboy wrote:I do not think LA and SF are equivalent. Putting aside GDC, most firms are more grade selective in their SF offices than their LA offices because they have smaller class sizes. And ties are probably even more important.

The advise I would give someone in constructing their CLS bid list will not be phrased the same way as comparing attending UCLA to attending CLS. I'm telling you that a SoCal law firm will look for higher grades from a UCLA student than a CLS student. I am not suggesting that it's good bidding strategy for CLS students to select all California firms without strong grades (or even with them).

Fair enough. I personally question how much of a bump (or if there is any bump) CLS would give him in Socal but there's no way either of us would be able to say for sure whether the bump would be big enough to justify the increase in cost. I lean towards no, but reasonable people can disagree.

ETA: I disagree wrt socal being less competitive.
Last edited by dabigchina on Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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